How to spatchcock a chicken: a step by step guide with a video. The chicken is lathered in a mustard seed marinade and roasted over cauliflower steaks- while the drippings from the chicken infuse the cauliflower with goodness and flavor! A delicious one-pan meal! Video.

How to spatchcock a chicken: a step by step guide with a video. The chicken is lathered in a mustard seed marinade and roasted over cauliflower steaks- while the drippings from the chicken infuse the cauliflower with goodness and flavor! A delicious one-pan meal

What is it about fall that always makes me want to roast a chicken and bake bread? It is the same every year.  Cozy, warm, comfort food – don’t you just love this time of year? This little chicken was grown by my friend Ben over at Casa Cano Farms and I have to say it was the happiest tasting chicken I’ve ever had.

This recipe for Spatchcock Chicken is a cinch to make and perfect for brisk fall nights.  The chicken is “spatchcocked” which is basically a fancy way of saying the chicken is butterflied. It’s a simple technique ( see the video) that allows the chicken to cook quickly and evenly, perfect for busy weeknights.

It requires cutting out the backbone with a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors and then opening it up and flattening it out. Here it’s rubbed with a mustard marinade and placed over a bed of cauliflower steaks, then into the oven, it goes. It requires about 15-20 minutes of prep, and the oven does the rest of the work. The flavorful juices drip all over the cauliflower and when it comes out, both are cooked to perfection and the house smells divine.

How to spaTchkock Chicken | video

How to Spatchcock Chicken (Step-by-Step INSTRUCTIONS)

Before starting on the chicken, prepare your parchment lined baking sheet with sliced cauliflower and onion. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment. Slice cauliflower into steaks about ½-¾ inch thick. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a very light drizzling of olive oil. Add sliced onion and garlic cloves if you like and a scattering of herbs like thyme, sage or rosemary.

sliced cauliflower on a sheet pan.


To spatchcock a chicken, place the chicken breast-side down on a flat surface. Remove the neck and organs from the cavity. How to spatchcock a chicken, cutting out the backbone with kitchen sheers.

Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut along each side of the backbone, removing the backbone (saving it for stock if you like).

Removing the backbone from the chicken.

Open the chicken up like a book and search for the lower tip of the breast bone in the inside cavity. Slicing the flesh there at that point will allow the bone to protrude out and the bird to flatten more easily.

Pressing down hard on the Breast bone,  to flatten.

Turn the chicken over and using the heel of your hand, press down hard flattening the breast bone. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

It’s a fun technique to learn and preparing a chicken this way is also great for grilling.

Spatchcock Chicken on the sheet pan over cauliflower steaks.

Save the leftover bones and tidbits for chicken broth, which can be frozen and used for soups and stews later on.

The roasted spatchcock chicken over roasted cauliflower steaks- perfect golden and delicious looking.

When it comes out, it will be deliciously golden, juicy and tender with tasty browned bits.

Spoon the flavorful pan juices over the cauliflower.

Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. Then go to town.

Spatchcock chicken in a serving bowl with roasted cauliflower and sage.

More Chicken Recipes You may Like:

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how to spatchcock a chicken

How to Spatchcock a Chicken (Video)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 9 reviews


Learn how to spatchcock a chicken! An easy technique, and  a delicious one-pan meal perfect for cozy fall nights. The drippings from the chicken infuse the cauliflower steaks with goodness and flavor! With a video!


Units Scale
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic – whole
  • small handful savory herbs- sage, thyme or rosemary
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 whole Chicken- Spatchcocked (butterflied)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/2 cup whole grain mustard or a mix of whole grain and dijon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • 1 whole Chicken- Spatchcocked (butterflied)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Slice cauliflower into “steaks” about ½ inch -¾ inch thick, green parts and all. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet with a rim. Scatter sliced onions, whole garlic cloves and sprigs of herbs over top.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a very light drizzle of olive oil
  4. In a small bowl, mix mustard and oil and a pinch of salt.
  5. Spatchcock  the chicken (see the video). Place the chicken on a cutting board, backside up, breast bone down. Using sturdy kitchen scissors, cut along each side of the backbone, removing it, saving it for stock.
  6. Open the chicken up like a book, find the lower tip of the breast bone, and slice the flesh open at that point, so the tip can protrude out.
  7. Turn the chicken over, spread apart, press down hard on the breast bone with the heel of your hand, to flatten.
  8. Sprinkle the inside and outside generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, over the cauliflower, pushing down to make it relatively flat.
  9. Brush or rub the skin side of the chicken with the mustard marinade ( saving 1-2 tablespoons for basting) getting all the nooks and crannies. Place it is flat as you can, opened up, over the cauliflower, pressing breast down one more time.
  10. Place in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Baste with the remaining mustard, and If there are pan juices ( there may not be yet) spoon some over the cauliflower, and bake for another 10-20 more minutes until cooked through.Bake until thigh at the thickest part reaches 170 F or juices run clear.
  11. Pull it out of the oven, and when you tilt the pan, you will see clear pan juices- spoon this flavorful juice over the exposed cauliflower. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.


The leftover chicken will keep up to 5 days in the fridge. Use the carcass or bones to make flavorful chicken broth.


  • Serving Size: 6 ounce piece chicken (skin-on) w/ cauliflower
  • Calories: 453
  • Sugar: 5.5 g
  • Sodium: 445.3 mg
  • Fat: 26.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.5 g
  • Fiber: 5.2 g
  • Protein: 40.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 149.2 mg



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  1. I was looking for something flavorful and easy for the chicken that needed to be cooked today. This was excellent and fit the bill. I’m used to spatchcocking a chicken and in less then 10 minutes this was in the oven. The onion and cauliflower were nicely cooked. Everything had a great roasted flavor. The picky husband who doesn’t usually like chicken raved about it. It was well cooked (as he likes it) but yet so moist. Thanks for another great one!

  2. This is a great weeknight chicken recipe. I’ve made it twice already. The second time I added some lemon juice and a little Italian seasoning to the mustard mixture. It was so juicy & flavorful! I will definitely be making this again.

  3. This recipe was delicious and so easy to make! I prepared everything the night before and refrigerated until I was ready to heat up the oven. The leftovers were even more tasty than the first night, if that is even possible!

  4. Our dinner guests raved! I know whenever I make one of your recipes it’s going to be fabulous. And I never worry about trying it first before making it for company. The only wee issue, I used an open range chicken from a local farm. Because it was so lean, there weren’t any pan juices. A little fresh lemon juice serviced just fine & brightened the flavor of the cauliflower. As for spatchcocking…a good pair of poultry shears does the job easily.

  5. I asked my butcher to butterfly the chicken for me when I bought it which made the prep for this meal practically non-existent. It took all of 10 minutes to slice up the cauli steaks, mix up the mustard sauce & smear it on. I put it over a little mesclun when serving because I had to use it up, and the mustardy drillings (along with a squirt of lemon juice) went on that, as well. Such a simple and delicious meal.

    But the real reason I reviewed this is because I NEVER thought to use the green parts of the cauliflower. You learn something new every day! Thank you for that tip!

  6. My question is not related to this recipe. Do you have a way to see and share the videos on your recipes?

  7. This was wonderful! Even though it’s midsummer and hot here in Florida, I was craving a comforting chicken dinner roasted in the oven. This was perfection. I seasoned the cauliflower with sage and thyme and oh, my goodness the flavor was amazing with the chicken drippings. The mustard coating on the chicken really mellowed out after roasting and gave a great flavor to the chicken. Thank you again!

  8. I made this during the Superbowl. Only takes a little prep time then off to the oven. It came out excellent. The whole grain mustard gives a nice pop to the chicken. I added a sliced red bell pepper to the cauliflower/onion mix just to add a little color. Another good thing is it is just one pan so it is a quick clean up.

    1. Hi Jodie- Bone-in, skin-on Chicken Breasts would work fine. If using boneless though, the chicken will cook much faster than the cauliflower, so you would have to roast cauliflower a bit first ( 15 mins), then add breasts. Hopefully this makes sense. 😉

  9. This was amazing! I was really surprised by how much flavor everything had with so few ingredients. I would most definitely make it again. Thank you.


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